Number 4: Kyle Seager
As an ardent defender of Kyle Seager, it would be kind of shocking to see him go. But if the Mariners decided to go quick rebuild, it could be wise to shop the second-longest tenured Mariner.
Despite what many in Seattle would tell you, Kyle Seager is a perfectly good player making a perfectly reasonable salary. At just 30 years old, Seager is under club control until at least 2021, with a very reasonable team-friendly option for 2022.
Similar to the Cruz deal, the Mariners would not have to look far back to see the comp for the framework of a potential Seager deal. When the Rays traded Evan Longoria to San Francisco this winter, it gave the Mariners a good starting point for discussions around Seager.
I say starting point for several reasons, including the fact that Seager is 2 full years younger than Longoria, and is under club control for the same amount of time. But also, and this is important: Kyle Seager is better than Evan Longoria. It’s true. In fact, Seager has been worth 3 wins more than Longoria since 2014. So what did Tampa get for their Franchise player?
In order to offset some of the salary concerns for San Francisco, the Rays took the contract of Denard Span. Perhaps Seattle will have to do the same. However, Tampa also received Christian Arroyo, Matt Krook, and Stephen Woods.
Arroyo entered 2018 as a Top 100 prospect in all of baseball (according to MLB Pipeline) and projects to be an above-average bat and glove at the Major League level. Krook, a former first-round talent, is still working his way back from an arm injury, and Woods could be a solid 7th inning bullpen arm.
So the Rays got a useful MLB piece, a good yet unspectacular prospect, and 2 lottery ticket arms. Could Seattle get the same? It’s hard to imagine a reason they can’t. If the can’t they can hold Seager and try again this winter.